Only today, mutiliated, she rises in desolation.
I saw almost the last days of her splendor, in the fever of August 1914. I saw her naves full of soldiers who came to prepare themselves to die well. The faithful crowded in, aquiver with prayer or anguish. In the morning there was silence as the cardinal most fervently offered a mass for France; it was like being on the eve of a martyrdom, because we expected someting too great. Because of their anguish he had wanted to come and pray with his people, and, lit by the sparkling glow of stained glass windows, he seemed to exist in the peace of a ﬁnal day, as if he were haloed, already beyond humanity.
— (image) Collier’s New Photographic History of the World’s War (1919), page 86.
The views constructed by architects on their drawing-board and CAAD simulations are imaginary, and notwithstanding, the city reveals its structures only under moments of erasure. Here we must distingush between the view of a city under destruction and the bombardier’s view and qualify the two observer positions as they instantiate a spatial organisation. We evidence, respectively in these observer positions, an architectural position and positions of disciplines that have alienated from the architectural in time, yet these disciplines continue to operate on the city.
— A city machine: A concise history of 20th century cities as captured under shellﬁre.
Georges Bataille in Notre-Dame de Rheims: To some youths of Haute-Auvergne (~1920 or ~1940)